Fabrangen’s History

Fabrangen (from farbrangen “bringing together in joy”) is an egalitarian and participatory Havurah (community) founded in 1971. Below are some important dates in the life of our community.

1970 Concept Paper 1: A New Jewish Community by Rob Agus and Paul Ruttkay, Summer 1970
  Proposal to the UJA Federation of Washington: Fabrangen: A Jewish Free Cultural Center; $15,000 grant awarded for 6 months
  Fabrangen Incorporated
1971 First Fabrangen Service – January 30, 1971 (Parshat Bo) 2158 Florida Avenue NW
  Fabrangen holds Summer Institute – 6-week intensive study program
  Fabrangen helps organize anti-Vietnam War rally and provides shelter for out-of-town participants
  Fabrangen Fiddlers release first album (Souljoy)
1972 Move to 1627 21st Street NW (Winter)
  Despite loss of funding, Fabrangen continues outreach with free High Holiday services, communal Seder, Simchat Torah & Purim celebrations
  First Fabrangen wedding – Diana Stark & Alan Oresky
  Move to UAHC, 2027 Massachusetts Ave. NW
1973 Fabrangen women’s groups established
  First adult B’not Mitzvah at Fabrangen and first women to leyn Torah  – Chava Weissler & Sarah Elpern
  Fabrangen Cheder founded
1975 Tzedek Tzedek Coffee House
  Fabrangen Tzedakah Collective established
1976 First Fabrangen Bat Mitzvah – Toba Spitzer
1977 First Coordinator hired  – Ira Cohen
  Co-sponsored first Jewish Folk Arts Festival
1978 Jewish Study Center launched; successor to Lehrhaus of 1973
  Fabrangen organizes conference to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Martin Buber
1980 Helped found National Havurah Committee
  Started providing monthly meals to S.O.M.E. (Chevrat Tzedakah)
1981 10th Anniversary celebration at Temple Sinai
1982 Torah acquired
1983 Membership dues established
1984 Fabrangen’s children program started
  Fabrangen celebrates its Bar/Bat Mitzvah year
1985 Community decision to customarily include imahot (foremothers) in the Amidah prayer
1986 Involvement in Central American issues leads to support for a political refugee
1987 High Holiday Services at New York Ave. Presbyterian Church (over 700 people attend)
1988 Project HOPE established to help homeless families
  Move to George Washington University Hillel location
1991 Memorial quilt created
1992 First budget and fiscal year
  Joint annual service with Bet Mishpachah congregation initiated
1995 Adopted Kol Haneshama Siddur
  First adult Bar/Bat Mitzvah class
1996 25th Anniversary celebration at Tifereth Israel
  Fabrangen Children’s Tzedakah Collective launched
1999 Fabrangen website launched
2001 Community mishloach manot project for Purim to raise funds for the Fabrangen Children’s Scholarship Fund
2003 New High Holidays mahzor (Chadesh Yameinu) purchased and supplement produced
  Move to Washington Ethical Society location; Torah procession through Rock Creek Park
2004 Fabrangen West (in VA) initiated; introduction of Eit Ratzon siddur
2005 Fabrangen Announcements e-newsletter launched
2006 Fabrangen installs sign at the Washington Ethical Society location
2007 Fabrangen’s 36th (double-chai) Anniversary celebration
2008 Fabrangen purchases and rededicates an old Torah for new life in the Fabrangen community
2010 Retreat attended by over 100 people at the Pearlstone Conference Center
2011 Free High Holiday services at the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church location for the 25th year
2011 Fabrangen’s 40th Anniversary Celebration
2012 First Scholar-in-Residence program with American Jewish historian Prof. Hasia Diner
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